Saturday, August 19, 2006

the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon)

3 local governments receive death threats after planning to tax pro-Pyongyang group

The Yokohama municipal, Tokyo metropolitan and Saitama prefectural governments have received letters threatening to kill officials if they levy city taxes on a pro-Pyongyang group of Korean residents in Japan, police said.

The Yokohama Municipal Government received a similar letter on July 19. Police are investigating the incidents on suspicion of intimidation.

A senior official of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon) said he believes the incident is an attempt to tarnish the image of the organization.

"We're not dissatisfied with the local governments over their decision on tax exemption. It's nothing but a farce that the culprit sent a letter to a prefectural government that is not even authorized to levy city taxes," the officials said. "I feel it's harassment against us."

The letters were typed on A4-size sheets titled "Blackmail letter." "If you levy taxation on Chongryon facilities, we will kill officials," the letters partly read

Following North Korea's recent missile tests, Yokohama Mayor Hiroshi Nakada declared on July 12 that the municipal government would no longer exempt 10 facilities in Yokohama that are linked to the pro-Pyongyang association from fixed property and urban planning taxes.mainichiAugust 19, 2006

横浜市の中田宏市長は7月12日、北朝鮮のミサイル発射に伴い、朝鮮総連関連の10施設に対して今年度の固定資産税と都市計画税を減免しないと発表した。同19日には「総連施設への課税に対し断固抗議する さもなければ職員を殺す」と書かれた脅迫状とカッターナイフの刃が送りつけられた。神奈川県警は、今回の脅迫状と同一犯が送付したとみて調べている。



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